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SempreMare

Transferring a direct booking to a travel agent

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2 hours ago, rangeley said:

I called in March to transfer a booking to our TA. Just called HAL gave them TA info and that was it. 

 

The process of transfers to a TA changed in April, 2019.

 

I can confirm the $2100 and $2800 refundable OBC from a TA. We have two cabins (Vista and Neptune) booked on an upcoming 14 day cruise and will have $3,000 in refundable OBC (based on cruise cabin cost only) plus $2200 in cash or check rebates (calculation includes air and hotel) from the big box store due to using the store travel agency and store credit card.

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10 hours ago, SempreMare said:

$2100 on board credit !?!   For transferring 2 bookings?  Wow.

They typically give you 6-7% of the fare as OBC. It's real money, so you'll get it back at the end of the trip. I forgot: when you use their credit card, you get back 3% from the credit card company, and another 2% if you're an Executive member. Overall, a good deal. 

 

4 hours ago, rangeley said:

I called in March to transfer a booking to our TA. Just called HAL gave them TA info and that was it. 

We booked onboard, and our TA showed up at the top of the booking info. However, we still had to go through the bother of the forms. 

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5 hours ago, yerdua said:

 I'm not the recipient of the $2100 obc, but just calculating out, at 8% from the TA, works out to an average fare of  $6500pp for each of 2 cruises. Easily accomplished when booking a Neptune or a longer cruise. 

We're budget travelers, and the $2100 is for a category HH (fully obstructed ocean view) on one, and a category G (partially obstructed ocean view) on the other. And we don't have to pay suite rates to get deals like this.

Our first cruise two years ago was booked that a national auto association and cost over $7000. Our goodies through them?  Two-$25 beverage cards and two dinners at PG and Canaletto, worth about $150.

OTOH, we're going on a cruise this fall (another category HH fully obstructed), and the fare (not including port fees) is $4256. The big box TA is giving us $330 OBC, not a huge amount, but equal to about 7.75%. Not a bad deal for the price. 

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2 hours ago, kwb101 said:

We're budget travelers, and the $2100 is for a category HH (fully obstructed ocean view) on one, and a category G (partially obstructed ocean view) on the other. And we don't have to pay suite rates to get deals like this.

Our first cruise two years ago was booked that a national auto association and cost over $7000. Our goodies through them?  Two-$25 beverage cards and two dinners at PG and Canaletto, worth about $150.

OTOH, we're going on a cruise this fall (another category HH fully obstructed), and the fare (not including port fees) is $4256. The big box TA is giving us $330 OBC, not a huge amount, but equal to about 7.75%. Not a bad deal for the price. 

We're "budget" travelers too (i like your term), last cruise was in an H, next a veranda, after that a G. All depends on the itinerary and the $ differential with the next category. Would rather spend the money on excursions and upgraded airfare. That said, $2100 is a lot of obc for 2 cruises in these cabin categories. May I ask how long these 2 cruises are and what are your destinations? My experience with the big box TA is usually around 7% (excluding cash back from their cc) but then I might take shorter trips than you. I'm always looking for additional ways to extend my cruising habit!

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3 hours ago, yerdua said:

May I ask how long these 2 cruises are and what are your destinations? My experience with the big box TA is usually around 7% (excluding cash back from their cc) but then I might take shorter trips than you. I'm always looking for additional ways to extend my cruising habit!

We've booked three voyages for '20 and '21: a 41-day and 35-day next year, and a 43-day the next year. The numbers for these look like this:

  • 41-day: world cruise segment (South America), cat HH (fully obscured) OV guarantee, fare $17,106 (not incl port fees), $1210 TA OBC
  • 35-day: Europe,  cat D OV, $17,848, $1375 TA OBC
  • 43-day: SouthPacific, cat H (partially obscured) OV, $12,376, $760 TA OBC

The OBC is about 7.1% of the fares. I haven't included anything not from the TA like HAL OBC for booking onboard. The info is current today. Hope this helps. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, kwb101 said:

We've booked three voyages for '20 and '21: a 41-day and 35-day next year, and a 43-day the next year. The numbers for these look like this:

  • 41-day: world cruise segment (South America), cat HH (fully obscured) OV guarantee, fare $17,106 (not incl port fees), $1210 TA OBC
  • 35-day: Europe,  cat D OV, $17,848, $1375 TA OBC
  • 43-day: SouthPacific, cat H (partially obscured) OV, $12,376, $760 TA OBC

The OBC is about 7.1% of the fares. I haven't included anything not from the TA like HAL OBC for booking onboard. The info is current today. Hope this helps. 

 

Ahh, you're living my dream! We're doing 7-14 day cruises. And I have to twist DHs arm to get him to agree to a 14 day cruise! Love the big box TAs obc and cash back cc. They've always been very helpful in negotiating with HAL for changes and refares, even after final payment. Enjoy yourself!

Edited by yerdua

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8 hours ago, yerdua said:

 

Ahh, you're living my dream! We're doing 7-14 day cruises. And I have to twist DHs arm to get him to agree to a 14 day cruise! Love the big box TAs obc and cash back cc. They've always been very helpful in negotiating with HAL for changes and refares, even after final payment. Enjoy yourself!

Heh, I retired at the end of 2016, and, after considerable urging from friends who were the equivalent of 4-star cruisers at four lines (but not HAL), we decided to jump in and do the 14-day Alaska-Yukon-cruise trip in May 2017...and we were hooked. What's not to like? (Except that we're catching up for lost time, and have to hurry a bit, since mobility issues are overtaking us faster than we'd like.)

We booked our first two voyages through AAA, but then discovered the big-box TA and its goodies, and its always-courteous-and-friendly staff...and we haven't looked back.

BTW, if you use the big-box TA, check out their airfares (I've seen threads on this on this forum off and on). We booked our return flight from South America several days ago, and it was less than half what I found with the airlines and the big consolidation sites. The only clinker was that, because we'd gotten a 3% (over $400) discount from HAL, we had to pay for the air on the spot, or we'd've had to return the discount. Odd, but we saved a pile.

Happy trails!

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 This is all extremely useful. Thanks yerdua and kwb101.  I have been using a big online consolidator, but it seems like a big box TA  might be even better. And I live in a city with a cruise port and a great airport so time to retire!

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4 hours ago, kwb101 said:

BTW, if you use the big-box TA, check out their airfares[...]. We booked our return flight from South America several days ago, and it was less than half what I found with the airlines and the big consolidation sites. The only clinker was that, because we'd gotten a 3% (over $400) discount from HAL, we had to pay for the air on the spot, or we'd've had to return the discount. Odd, but we saved a pile.

@kwb101, what do you mean by "we had to pay for the air on the spot,"   ? 

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On 5/15/2019 at 9:12 PM, Cruise Raider said:

Can I ask the experienced HAL cruisers a question here related to transferring of a direct booking to a TA.  

I booked with HAL earlier this week and now am looking into transferring this to a travel agency for some OBC or perks ... or whatever they may give me.  

Does the agent down at HAL that booked it for me lose any commission if I transfer a booking?  I asked her and she said, "well, you won't be able to deal directly with me anymore"....but I wasn't sure if that meant she was losing out on commission for her or not.  Depending on what an agency can give me, I am apt to choose to transfer it.  I just hate leaving money (or perks) on the table.  

 

I'm surprised no poster has jumped on the chance to respond to your question.  In many other threads where this issue came up, respondents were quick to state the HAL PCC doesn't lose any compensation.  Firstly, the fact that HAL would pay a double commission to compensate both their own employee and the TA fails the logic test.  I can tell you first hand from a close relative that is a cruise planner with a sister line of HAL that,  when a booking is transferred from the PCC to a TA, the PCC does, in fact, lose their commission.  At her company, PCC's earn a base salary but the majority of their earnings come from commissions.  Further, PCC's are advised that they could lose their jobs if they, in any way, try to dissuade a client from using a TA.  That is why the PCC you contacted limited her reply to what you quoted and didn't answer your question directly.  Probably the exception to this is the on board Future Cruise Consultant whom I  surmise  is a straight salaried employee.  

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, doublebzz said:

I'm surprised no poster has jumped on the chance to respond to your question.  In many other threads where this issue came up, respondents were quick to state the HAL PCC doesn't lose any compensation.  Firstly, the fact that HAL would pay a double commission to compensate both their own employee and the TA fails the logic test.  I can tell you first hand from a close relative that is a cruise planner with a sister line of HAL that,  when a booking is transferred from the PCC to a TA, the PCC does, in fact, lose their commission.  At her company, PCC's earn a base salary but the majority of their earnings come from commissions.  Further, PCC's are advised that they could lose their jobs if they, in any way, try to dissuade a client from using a TA.  That is why the PCC you contacted limited her reply to what you quoted and didn't answer your question directly.  Probably the exception to this is the on board Future Cruise Consultant whom I  surmise  is a straight salaried employee.  

 

This varies a little from what my HAL PCC told me.  He said they were salaried and not commissioned.  That once a booking is complete they get credit for a booked cruise regardless if it is transferred to a external TA.   He didn’t leave me with the impression that there was any benefit to him if the booking stayed in house or not.   While he wasn’t specific he did say the more bookings the better but he didn’t define what “better” meant.   Probably fairly safe to say there are goals so X number of bookings is satisfactory and a higher Y number of bookings is outstanding with maybe a bonus attached.   Of course without knowing for sure I’d imagine there’s quite a variance in PCC compensation from cruise line to cruise line.

Edited by Randyk47

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9 hours ago, SempreMare said:

@kwb101, what do you mean by "we had to pay for the air on the spot,"   ? 

Rather than defer payment for the airfare until the final payment date for the trip, because this is a world cruise with a discount for early payment (of which we availed ourselves), we had the choice of paying the airfare when we booked it, or losing (and repaying) our 3% early payment discount. Hope this makes sense. 

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1 hour ago, doublebzz said:

I'm surprised no poster has jumped on the chance to respond to your question.  In many other threads where this issue came up, respondents were quick to state the HAL PCC doesn't lose any compensation.  Firstly, the fact that HAL would pay a double commission to compensate both their own employee and the TA fails the logic test.  I can tell you first hand from a close relative that is a cruise planner with a sister line of HAL that,  when a booking is transferred from the PCC to a TA, the PCC does, in fact, lose their commission.  At her company, PCC's earn a base salary but the majority of their earnings come from commissions.  Further, PCC's are advised that they could lose their jobs if they, in any way, try to dissuade a client from using a TA.  That is why the PCC you contacted limited her reply to what you quoted and didn't answer your question directly.  Probably the exception to this is the on board Future Cruise Consultant whom I  surmise  is a straight salaried employee.  

 

Thank you for that answer!  I've found that with different cruise lines, they are oftentimes willing to try to match (or come close to) what a travel agent offers.  They seem to have to go to their supervisor for authorization and the client must be the one to initiate that request.  Whether or not they really do go to a supervisor is anyone's guess .... maybe you'd know.  I prefer to leave my reservation directly with the PCC (if it's a good one) so am always willing to ask if they can match what a travel agent can provide.  Sometimes, they say that their travel partners and them are not in competition and they value them and other times, they will even come out with an offer that is just above what a travel agency can give.  It is worth it to ask.  Depending on the offer, I decide if I am going to transfer it or not.  It seems easier though, if I am going to transfer, I should just book with an agency to begin with rather than have the PCC do all that work only to lose his/her commission.  

I did recently book a cruise directly with a cruiseline (other than HAL).  The agent I was speaking to down at the cruise line was awful (I don't have a PCC for that line).  Instead of transferring it, I just canceled and rebooked with an agency.  I didn't want any problems with that reservation following me to the new booking.  Anyway, I saved over $1000 just on the cost of the cruise and gained $500 in perks to boot.  I can see $100 or two ... but just can't figure out what in the heck that service rep at the cruiseline was doing!!  That's just crazy!!  

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I’ve only dealt with cruise line in-house PCCs at Holland America, Celebrity, and Silversea.  Not one of them, and with Holland America it was more than one PCC, has been willing or able to come anywhere close to matching my TA’s discounts or incentives.   The typical PCC offers have run along the lines of a very small OBC, a bottle or two of wine, and maybe a “free” meal at one of the specialty restaurants.   My last Holland America PCC came right out and advised I stick with my TA as they had more flexibility with their incentives.   I can’t speak for what other lines’ PCCs can do.   I did have a local contact who worked for a brick and mortar agency, she was a member of my pub’s trivia team,  who once told me they closely monitor what cruise line in-house PCCs were offering.   Her point was if they felt they were getting undermined by the PCCs they’d raise the issue.  Her agency, and others nation wide, were part of the group that raised the issue of Internet based agencies advertising heavily discounted rates.  It didn’t put the discounters out of business but it hampered their ability to advertise their discounts and incentives.   Unfortunately and sadly my local TA friend passed away of a sudden heart attack two Christmas ago so I don’t have her as a ready source of what is going in the industry. 

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